Friday, March 01, 2013

Nonprofit Thursday II A Plan for Cleveland Neighborhoods • Jazzy Stevie Wonder • Flying Angels and more

There goes the neighborhood
Joel Ratner, President and CEO
Neighborhood Progress Inc.

A key but little understood player in Cleveland’s neighborhood development ecosphere is Neighborhood Progress Inc. Founded in 1988, its declared mission is “to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland.” Its status as a funding intermediary for CDCs gives it an outsized importance in determining the look, feel, and shape of community revitalization in our core city.

This coming Wednesday, NPI president and chief executive officer Joel Ratner will speak at the City Club. The centerpiece of his talk is very likely to be a public rollout of his organization’s new vision of community development, as set forth in its recently completed strategic plan.

Tickets for the noon luncheon program are $25 [$15 for members.] For reservations, call the City Club at 621.0082 or 888.223.6786. For more information, visit here.

Stevie Wonder in Cleveland next week? Not exactly 
The man genius himself won’t be here, but his music will be featured prominently in a jazz concert at one of the city’s hottest venues when The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra plays next Thursday at the Museum of Contemporary Art in University Circle. We don’t have all the details but if you want tickets [$26], go here.

Black Angels
We wrote here last week about the acclaimed off-Broadway production Black Angels Over Tuskegee coming to University School next week to support efforts to turn the mothballed Aviation High School into the chartered Benjamin O. Davis Aerospace and Maritime Academy.

Now comes word that there is a 10AM matinee performance as well. The early show is for lucky students only. Councilman Jeff Johnson, Forest City Enterprises and Lubrizol Corporation are sponsoring 400 Cleveland school students: 100 each from Glenville and East Tech high schools, and 100 each from E-Prep and Intergenerational schools, part of the Breakthrough group of charter schools. One hundred or so students from University School will comprise the remainder of the matinee audience.

Yellow Butterfly Winery
Spokesman Dave Centa said that ticket sales for the evening performance are moving well, and he harbors hope for a sellout. The impressive list of sponsors includes for Cleveland mayor Mike White’s Yellow Butterfly Winery, which is providing the wine for the benefit reception.

Harry Boomer of WOIO/WUAB-19/43 television will emcee the benefit program that includes a silent auction and other attractions. Rev. R. A. Vernon of The Word Church in Warrensville Heights will also deliver some remarks.

To purchase tickets or to get further information about Davis Aerospace Academy, visit or call 216.579-9487.

Women of Color Foundation       
Carmen Ortiz-McGhee
ACIS executive vice president
The Women of Color Foundation has snagged the corporate headquarters of American Greetings for its 2nd Annual Speaking of Women program on March 14.

This year’s speaker for the dialogue series for women in leadership is Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, executive vice president of sales for Aon Cornerstone Innovative Solutions. ACIS is a division of Aon PLC, a global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage as well as a provider of staffing solutions and outsourcing.

McGhee’s topic for the Women’s History Month program is “Managing Your Career Journey: Making the Right Choices at the Right Time.” The event is free but registration is required, which you may do by calling 216.391.4300 x 307.

Cleveland Radio this Weekend
“It’s About Justice” is a weekly local radio show hosted by Meryl Johnson, an educator, union official and community activist. Appearing on tomorrow’s show to discuss the consequences on public education in Ohio should Gov. Kasich’s budget pass will be Piet van Lier of PolicyMatters Ohio. He is likely to have some insights on the state takeover of Cleveland schools announced earlier this week.

Other segments on the show will have Wynne Antonio speaking on the women’s movement [can you lean in on the radio?] and peace activist Nina McClellan will discuss the military budget and military waste [can we speak of one and not the other?]

“It’s About Justice” airs on WRUW-FM/91.1 Saturday afternoons from 1:30-2:30PM. Hear it online at

Similar topics will be the focus of this week’s Zack Reed Radio Show, airing Sunday nights from 8-10PM on WTAM/1100 AM. Reed, Ward 2 Cleveland councilman, will discuss the budget crisis in Washington DC and the state takeover of Cleveland schools. The call in portion is likely to be lively.

Cleveland Foundation Scholarships applications for adults, teens due April 5
The application period has begun for the many opportunities for scholarship support through the Cleveland Foundation. Deadline for many of the most broadly available scholarships is April 5, 2013

Scholarships are available for adults returning to school as well as for graduating high school seniors. Applicants have multiple opportunities to be selected.  Visit\scholarships to learn more.

“Our scholarships are made possible by donors who believe in education, and who want to help worthy individuals who aspire to advance academically,” said Marvelous Baker, the Foundation’s Scholarship officer, in an email announcing this year’s program.

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